Wipster video success in US triples revenue

Wipster, the cloud-based, collaborative video review and approval platform was created by former filmmaker Rollo Wenlock and a team of creative media tech experts in Wellington.

From day one, the aim of Wipster was to be international, says its founder.

Now the cloud-based, collaborative video review platform boasts 40,000 users in 120 countries and its revenues are rapidly growing.

Former filmmaker Rollo Wenlock started the business as beta in 2013 and launched it at the end of 2014 with a team of creative media tech experts in Wellington.

Wipster founder and chief executive Rollo Wenlock believes the market has potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of annual revenue to add to his business.

It was never his intention to be a business that starts in New Zealand and expands out.

From the onset, the intuitive company that helps video creators get feedback on video projects, was going to be international.

The strongest way of getting his product everywhere, was through word of mouth, he said.

READ MORE: My Secret Wellington: Rollo Wenlock

Disney, Intel and Shopify are among Wipster’s clients, which also includes thousands of freelancers, video production companies and businesses such as Zero, that use it in internal marketing departments.

The majority of its business comes from the United States, where Wenlock spent most of last year raising investment.

He had completed a couple of rounds of angel investment in New Zealand and strategic investment from overseas.

Revenue was now growing, so the business did not require more investment, he said.

Wipster was already a million dollar company and he expected revenues would easily  triple year-on-year for the next two years before plateauing .

Wipster was operating in a large niche market and because it was subscription based, it was continually adding value.

« We have so much space in the market there is potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of annual revenue to add. »

Wenlock aimed to create a product that would allow people to see what had been filmed, comment on it and make suggestions and it didn’t matter where anyone was.

All the comments on the video are turned into an easy-to-use to-do list so it all gets done and nothing is overlooked, he said.

« At the start I was video producing content for companies and trying to find the solution for my own problem — the review process — it was inefficient and not fun.

« I thought if we are working on a video, why doesn’t that become the canvas of the conversation, why are we talking elsewhere. »

The next big step for the business was to launch partnerships and this week the company is set to announce two major players it will start working with.

Wipster started out with four staff and now has 14 but Wenlock expects it will increase to 20 by the end of the year.

Wenlock said the problem with Wellington was hiring because he had to look hard or poach from other companies.

He could easily double the workforce in the next two years but his future aim was not number specific.

« I will be focusing on the user experience and simplicity of the product, which takes a lot of effort. »

Further down the line he has ambitions to dip his toes into other business opportunities.

« I’m keen to start New Zealand’s first micro Hollywood studio. maybe in 20 years we will make 200 films with the average budget of one million dollars. The mission would be to make Kiwis feel cool about being New Zealanders. »

He’s interested in creating businesses in his others areas of interest such as electric cars, and housing.

« I used to think film was the highest form of creativity and now I look at business and see that it is too. I’m really in love with business because everything creative can be put into business. »

 – Stuff

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